THREE RIVERS - Shiner defensive tackle, Marcus Rodriquez, wasn't about to let an opportunity get away.
The junior was fighting off a block near the middle of the field when he saw Corpus Christi London's backup quarterback, Mitch Moore, attempt a throwback pass.
"I just thought it was out of nowhere," Rodriquez said. "It was going our way, and they were blocking me right there. I just reacted to it. I saw my chance, and I wanted it. I think I surprised everybody."
Rodriquez returned the interception 56 yards for a touchdown to cap a 35-point second quarter in the Comanches' 63-0 Class 2A, Division I bi-district playoff rout of the Pirates on a cold Thursday night at Furlow-Johanssen Field.
No. 8 Shiner totally dominated London (7-4) as it improved to 10-1 and moved into the area round against Mason.
"Looking at them on film, we were very impressed," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. "They played a really good game against Ben Bolt. But I think we struck early, and not only that, we had some key turnovers, and once that happened, it kind of just snowballed."
Shiner forced five turnovers - interceptions by Rodriguez, Justin Stovall and Ty Boedeker and fumble recoveries by Dillon Kalina and Jordan Malinovsky - and turned four of them into touchdowns.
"I didn't know he was that fast," Cerny said of Rodriquez. "It worked out well for us. We got the playoff prep; we had new people brought up and we got to go through all that. We had a good week of practice, and we got what we needed out of it today."
The Comanches ran 23 plays in the first half and scored on six of them. Shiner finished with 41 plays and had 373 yards.
"We did well," Rodriquez said. "We came out rocky at first, but we stepped up and we were able to stop them. We didn't let them score and we drove it on offense; we had big plays on defense, and we did a good job."
Shiner had its reserves in the game midway through the second quarter, and the game was played with a running clock in the second half.
Shiner backup quarterback, Brandon Cerny, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Oden. Reserve running back, Charles Haynes, was the top rusher with 10 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown and a two-point conversion run.
"It looked solid," Cerny said. "We got a chance to look at a lot of different people. You practice all week and you want to get them on the field, and they played well. I was very impressed with our backups today."
Shiner will now turn its attention to its fourth-straight playoff meeting against No. 5 Mason.
"The main thing is we're healthy right now, and I feel like we're in great shape," Cerny said. "I haven't seen Mason. I know they're going to be good, and we're going to have our work cut out for us this week to prepare for it."
GAME STATISTICS (from the Victoria Advocate Digital Edition)GAME SUMMARY: Class 2A, Division I, First Round (Bi-District) Playoff Shiner 63, C.C. London 0 Three Rivers Bulldog Stadium SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Corpus Christi London 0 0 0 0 -- 0 Shiner 14 35 14 0 -- 63 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter S - Chad Neubauer 4 run (Neubauer kick), 4:12 S - Tyler Patek 4 run (Neubauer kick), 3:16 Second Quarter S - Neubauer 8 run (Neubauer kick), 11:49 S - Dadrian Taylor 38 pass from Blake Michalec (Neubauer kick), 8:37 S - Justin Stovall 44 run (Neubauer kick), 7:15 S - Caleb Oden 30 pass from Brandon Cerny (Austin Tousek kick), 1:59 S - Marcus Rodriquez 56 interception return (Tousek kick), 0:02 Third Quarter S - Justin Stein 3 run (Charles Haynes run), 8:45 S - Haynes 34 run (run failed), 0:56 Fourth Quarter no score TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner CC London First Downs 17 8 Yards Rushing 37-305 36-190 Yards Passing 68 10 Passes 4-2-2-0 11-2-0-3 Punts 0 34.0 Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2 Penalties-yards 3-25 8-44 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner, Blake Michalec 2-7, Chad Neubauer 7-46, Charles Haynes 10-127, Justin Stein 9-41, Justin Stovall 2-50, Tyler Patek 4-25, Caleb Oden 1-4, Dustin Petras 2-5. Corpus Christi London, George Aguilar 13-123, Chris Gray 2-9, Jake Voss 7-12, Matt Powell 8-29. Passing Shiner, Blake Michalec 2-1-38-0, Brandon Cerny 2-1-30-0. Corpus Christi London, Jake Voss 9-2-10-2, Receiving Shiner, Dadrian Taylor 1-38, Caleb Oden 1-30, ...
Mike Forman is a sports writer for The Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at email@example.com.